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CRITERIA - Syntec Ingénierie · PDF file Selection criteria 14 Award criteria 14 EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MEAT CRITERIA 16 Award criteria for the selection of engineering

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  • H OW TO



    M E A T

  • Introducing quality criteria into public procurement


    H OW TO



    M E A T


    EDITO 5



    Step 1 Formulate main project goals 7

    Step 2 Derive possible quality criteria 8

    Step 3 Choose a maximum of 4 criteria 11

    Step 4 Attribute weights to the criteria 12

    Step 5 Test your set by performing a crash test 12


    Eligibility criteria 13

    Selection criteria 14

    Award criteria 14


    Award criteria for the selection of engineering services 16

    Award criteria for the selection of a contractor 23

    Award criteria for the selection of an architect 29


  • EDITO By Marc Tarabella, Member of the European Parliament

    As seen in his proposal of 21 December 2011, the intention of the then Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier was very clear in seeking new Directives on Public Procurement. With public procurement representing 19% of GDP, this new framework had to be achieved in the most effective manner to serve the interests of European citizens. As rapporteur for the European Parliament, I completely shared this point of view and together with my colleagues we considered several angles of attack, such as better participation of SMEs in the market, the fight against the race to the bottom, and the promotion and ultimately compelling use of an electronic procedure. I remember well seeking to improve the option of subcontracting by trying to limit it and eventually improve the transparency of the value chain. Too long of a value chain is not economically useful and often leads to malfunctions and the exploitation of human beings on some worksites. But one of the most important points for the European Parliament was the award criterion by which the “lowest price” would be replaced by the “MEAT” as a key measure. The “economically most advantageous tender” became a major challenge where social and environmental criteria could be applied. It was a vital struggle first won within the European Parliament and then in negotiations with the Council who wanted to keep the alternative of the lowest price. We remained united and determined in the different political groups of the Parliament and held our ground on this point. In order to achieve the goal of a more sustainable investment, it is fundamental to objectify the criteria so as not to divert investment from its essential purpose, which is to best satisfy the interest of citizens. These two years of work on these directives will remain for me the most impressive and interesting legislative work that I have had to face during my European parliamentary career.

    By Kevin Rudden, EFCA President

    Every year, over 250 000 public authorities in the EU spend around 19 % of GDP on the purchase of services, works and supplies. The European Parliament adopted Directive 2014/24 which governs the way public authorities buy goods, works and services by establishing the criteria for awarding contracts. They ensure that public purchases are made in a transparent manner so as to ensure fair competition and that contracting authorities get the best value for taxpayers’ money. Former procurement rules did not always allow public authorities to make the best use of their resources and could also be unduly burdensome. To remedy these problems, the award criteria in the new rules are based on the principle of the “most economically advantageous tender” (the MEAT criteria). In particular, the new rules seek to open procurement contracts up to more innovative solutions to ensure that the money that goes into procurement is spent in a way that stimulates development. The new rules also cut red tape for companies bidding and make it easier for small and medium-sized firms to participate. This guidance produced by EFCA to promote MEAT criteria in public procurement, proposes a 5-step methodology to identify quality criteria linked to the subject matter. The challenge remains the way the MEAT criterion is used as old habits on the side of public procurers of using the lowest price criterion to circumvent subsequent criticism die hard. Because determining the quality criteria is not always straight forward the guidelines describe a pan European and proven methodology when drawing up appropriate criteria for the contract award. Price and cost are two different things. Price is meaningless; you can have a higher price at the start, but it may serve to lower costs over the lifetime of a construction. When working on price only, it is more than certain that the product, whether it is a road, or a building, or a whole infrastructure, will not be designed the optimum way. 5

  • I NTRODUCTION AND GOALS In 2014, EU procurement directives were upgraded to enable greater use of quality criteria when awarding public contracts. Up to then, the heavy reliance on price as the predominant award criteria had the unfortunate effect of frequently limiting innovation and encouraging short-term thinking – neither of which favour the best solutions to today’s problems.

    The EU Directive 2014/24 defined new award criteria (Article 67) and Clients are now obliged to use the ‘most economically advantaged tender’ (MEAT). Although it is still possible to base an award solely on price (Article 67.2), the European Federation of Consulting Engineer Associations (EFCA) strongly recommends that Clients use MEAT – employing criteria other than, or in addition to, price.

    However, determining the quality criteria is not always straightforward. These guidelines aim to fill a gap by describing a methodology for use by contracting authorities when drawing up appropriate criteria for a contract award. Five steps are outlined which lead to the ultimate goal of having the best offer, in terms of quality and price, selected (given the specific elements of the project).

    In the tendering process, the Client first selects engineering consultancies or contractors using ‘selection criteria’. It should be made clear that these guidelines address the second stage of tendering, governed by a set of ‘award criteria’, which concern the project rather than the implementing organisations. The focus is on selecting the ‘most economically advantaged tender’. The Appendix contains further information about both selection and award criteria.

    The EU experience of using quality criteria in the tendering process varies between countries and a point of clarification is needed. Several countries make use of ‘best value procurement’ (BVP) to procure consultants or contractors. MEAT and BVP have similar aims but the latter is part of a totally different approach to project management. BVP, being just one phase in a total process, can be regarded as a specific application of MEAT.


  • THE METHODOLOGY The methodology being put forward to deliver sound MEAT criteria is based on a systematic, five-step approach. The steps are:

    1. Formulate main project goals.

    2. D erive possible quality criteria.

    3. C hoose a maximum of 4 criteria.

    4. Attribute weights to the criteria.

    5. Test the set by performing a crash test.

    STEP 1 Formulate main project goals The first step looks simple, but it may cause some discussion in the project team. The project goals cannot only refer to the scope of a project – they can never be “the execution of the project” or “the delivery of 150 km of railway”. The reason being that the scope relates to the “what”, the description of the physical result of the project. The project goals are about the “why”, so they give information about time, money, or specific goals about sustainability.

    In accordance with the EU directives, the subject matter of the contract (the scope) should be clearly established at the start of the procedure so that bidders can decide whether or not to participate. There are two types of goal:

    • that associated with the product, the realised project

    • that concerning the process of realisation

    The first is related to the delivery of the project and is used to select an engineering consultant; the second is related to the implementation process and mainly used when selecting a contractor.

    The goals of a project can initially be found by asking ‘why?’ Why widen a road? ‘Because there is too much congestion’. The solution responds to the problem. Why build a new hospital wing? The problem is one of ‘too many patients and not enough space’. However, a scenario like the latter may have several potential solutions:

    • enabling more patients to be treated

    • increasing hospital capacity

    • decreasing the queue of patients

    so the goal is less straightforward and more difficult to define.

    Project goals may also arise from other sources. For example, it is important to limit disturbances in a city either because the authorities want to create local support for a project, or because policy dictates it for all major projects in town. The project goal here could be: ‘to minimise disturbance for citizens’.

    Another example of a process is where the project goals seek to minimise CO2 emissions when executing the project. If the Contractor uses electric, instead of diesel, cars emissions can be minimised even though the result of the project (a brid